Brave Partially Reset After PC Restart

Description of the issue:

Shutdown my PC last night using and after booting this morning, all extensions are uninstalled. Thought at first it was just missing the button up top, but no extensions are shown in Manage Extensions. Digging into the problem, I also noticed Brave Rewards have reset, and Brave Wallet is also disconnected from the previous account. While the bookmark bar itself was hidden (my personal setting is to have it shown), the bookmarks themselves were retained. History is also complete, as well as downloads. Strange indeed.

So of course I searched Brave Community and found a couple of similar/related reports:

I also searched r/brave_browser and found a few similar/related reports:

Unfortunately, no help was found in any of these locations.

I investigated a few file locations to see if I could find/fix the problem.

C:\Program Files\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\Application\98.1.35.103\Extensions

The only file is external_extensions.json, which only contains a commented-out header.

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\User Data\Default\Extensions\

The folder is empty (Default is the name of my only profile).

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\User Data\Crashpad\reports

The most recent .dmp file is from 12/8/2021.

How can this issue be reproduced?
Considering I have been using this browser for several months and just now experienced this issue, I’m not sure whether (a) it can be reproduced, or (b) how long it would take to do so. Beyond this, many of the most similar related posts went unresponded and auto-closed. If this post gets some traction I’d be happy to put in additional diagnostic/investigate work to support the team.

Expected result:
That Brave does not lose any installed extensions, settings, or configurations during reboot?

Brave version:
V1.35.103 Chromium 98.0.4758.102 (Official Build) (64-bit)

OS version:
Windows 10 Pro x64 10.0.18363

Additional information:

@itzsnitz

Nice detailed Report OP. Some more questions, for when somebody comes along:

Before you shut down your PC, did you:

  • Back up your PC? (Details on how you do that?)

  • Back up your Internet browsers’ user data directories?

  • Back up your Internet browsers’ Bookmarks files?

  • Know which extensions (re Brave) were Enabled / Disabled? (And, why?)

  • Have Brave Settings re “Clear browsing data” (tabs: Basic / Advanced / On exit) written down, for future reference – do you know them specifically?

  • Close / Exit / Quit your applications?

  • Create a System Restore Point?

Before you shut down your PC, were you running your PC

  • using an Administrative user account?
  • using a lesser-privileged Standard user account?

After your discoveries (things missing), did you Restart your PC?

Did you leave the Brave Browser installation intact?

@289wk

Thank you for putting together some additional questions to further qualify this issue. Adding comments in-line for context.

Before you shut down your PC, did you:

  • Back up your PC? (Details on how you do that?)
  • Back up your Internet browsers’ user data directories?
  • Back up your Internet browsers’ Bookmarks files?

No backups were performed before the shutdown. I mostly live out of OneDrive and SharePoint, so the only things lost at hardware failure are applications. All of my work related programs point to a cloud repository (either directly or through a symbolic link). I also have an automated task that runs whenever a new application is installed to add it to a running list of installed applications so I can get back up and running quickly in the event of hardware failure. I was rather surprised to lose extensions / wallet / rewards AND NOT lose bookmarks / browsing history.

Note: I did have a backup of my wallet seed / password and was able to recover that connection easily.

  • Know which extensions (re Brave) were Enabled / Disabled? (And, why?)

There were only (3) third-party extensions added to the Brave browser. All were enabled before the shutdown.

  • LastPass
  • MetaMask
  • Sci-Hub X Now!

Regarding the Brave Brower’s internal extensions, I had enabled the following:

  • Allow Google login for extensions > Disabled
  • Hangouts > Disabled
  • Media Router > Disabled
  • Method to resolve Unstoppable Domains > Ask
  • Method to resolve ENS > Ask
  • Private window with Tor > Enabled
  • Automatically redirect .onion sites > Disabled
  • WebTorrent > Disabled
  • Widevine > Enabled

Beyond these Extensions settings, I also had these settings for IPFS:

  • Method to resolve IPFS resources > Ask
  • IPFS public gateway address > https://dweb.link
  • IPFS public gateway fallback > Disabled
  • Redirect IPFD resources to the configured IPFS gateway > Disabled
  • Automatically redirect IPFS pages via DNSLink when possible > Disabled
  • IPFS Companion > Disabled
  • Max IPFS cache size > 1
  • Have Brave Settings re “Clear browsing data” (tabs: Basic / Advanced / On exit) written down, for future reference – do you know them specifically?
  • brave://settings
    • Get Started > On Startup > Continue where you left off
    • Security & Privacy > Clear Browsing Data > On Exit > None selected
  • Close / Exit / Quit your applications?

I manually closed all applications before the shutdown.

  • Create a System Restore Point?

I did not create a System Restore Point before the shutdown.

Before you shut down your PC, were you running your PC

  • using an Administrative user account?
  • using a lesser-privileged Standard user account?

I am using an Administrative user account.

After your discoveries (things missing), did you Restart your PC?

Yes. No impact to reported issue.

Did you leave the Brave Browser installation intact?

Mostly. The only things I did was (a) reconnect the Brave Wallet using my seed / password backup, and (b) completed the Sync setup (I had not done that previously). I have not yet reinstalled the missing extensions.

–EDIT–

Probably also worth noting that Brave News was also disabled (just noticed today), and the list of Top Sites lost my previous customizations.

@itzsnitz ,

Suggestions

Extensions

May interest, re “external_extensions.json” file:

https://www.dre.vanderbilt.edu/~schmidt/android/android-4.0/external/chromium/chrome/common/extensions/docs/external_extensions.html

At Brave Browser Startup

Wish I had thought of the following switch setting, earlier:

Brave Browser > Settings > Get Started > On Startup > Continue where you left off

I would select: “Open a specific page or set of pages” and I would choose “about:blank”

Because an Internet browser needs to start, and then just sit there, prepared . . . instead of immediately upon starting, then promptly having to do things.

First “To do” – Check the Brave Browser Task Manager (maybe take a screenshot for ref.)

Second “To do” – In a New Private Window, visit “https://html.duckduckgo.com/html

Because the DuckDuckGo web site is simple.

If the Startup check list passes muster, then issue commands.

PS. Recent example of a problem with the Continue where you left off switch:

PS. MetaMask has been a problem, but one person found a fix:

Backups

Passwords backup

Good that you are using LastPass (password manager).

Recommend that you occasionally create a backup, by using for example, WinZip, in order to .zip compress:

BraveSoftware folder backup at C:\Users\ \AppData\Local\BraveSoftware

Name the newly-created .zip file with a date stamp: “20220301_Tuesday_BraveSoftware_fldr_bkup.zip” – or something like that, in order to know for certain re what and when.

Create a System Restore Point

Create a new System Restore Point, whenever the thought occurs to you. Follow the date stamp convention, previously mentioned. Thus, you will know what YOU created, vs whatever the OS would do.

Bookmarks manual backup

Use the Brave Browser application’s “Bookmarks Manager”, to back up your Bookmarks (“Export bookmarks”). Follow the date stamp convention, previously mentioned.

Copy all such backups, to an attached, external drive.

Become a master of all the settings at:

brave://settings/clearBrowserData

brave://settings/cookies

brave://settings/content

brave://settings/content/javascript

Be accustomed to monitoring whichever of the following are available on your computing device:

  • OS Actvity Monitor
  • OS Task Manager
  • Brave Browser Task Manager
  • OS Performance Monitor
  • OS Resource Monitor

Become familiar with Developer Tools > Network tool and Developer Tools > Application tool.

How to use Developer Tools

https://www.lifewire.com/web-browser-developer-tools-3988965

https://developer.chrome.com/docs/devtools/network/reference/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/devtools-guide-chromium/

Developer Tools > Network tool is where you search for sources of scripts and other items that will qualify despite their not being obvious scripts (www.amazon.com).

Developer_Tools_-Application-_Cookies__example_Amazon.com_00

Developer Tools > Application tool is where you will find the sources of cookies (www.amazon.com).

Monitor network activity – NetLimiter 4:

https://www.netlimiter.com/products/nl4”

How to flush DNS cache

https://www.wikihow.com/Flush-DNS

Windows OS has a diagnostic tool named “Event Viewer”. How to get it started and some basics about its use, are at;

There is a main window for the application. The particular events of interest re your issue, would show in the Custom Views > Administrative Events as depicted in the illustration:

Do not be alarmed by the “Error” and “Warning” labels. With experience, using Event Viewer, one sees such alarms, often.

The object of the exercise – if you choose to take a look – is to be prepared and have that Event Viewer window open and in a location within your computer display, so that you can observe events that are being listed, while you are also using Brave Browser.

PS. You know of the Windows OS Task Manager. Brave Browser also has a Task Manager – search for those terms under the Brave Help menu.

For taking notes, try EditPad Lite / EditPad Pro

https://www.editpadlite.com/

https://www.editpadpro.com/

How to read DMP files

Possibly related to the following “soft reset” thing:

Sometimes, Brave Browser does a “soft reset” thing – seems like it, and some settings and things are forgotten / “lost!”

  • bookmarks
  • cookies
  • extensions
  • passwords
  • sync (memory?)
  • tabs
  • windows

The more prepared you are, the better. And you in particular, have a lot to offer to the Brave Community, because you had a:

“wallet seed / password and was able to recover that connection easily”

There are a lot of people here, who have been wondering how to do that.

PS. A great backup program:

News to me, they also have GoodSync for backing up Android:

https://www.goodsync.com/for-android

PS. There is a MetaMask Community:


Mac OS Tips

Location of BraveSoftware folder in Mac user’s account:

/Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/BraveSoftware

Location of the Default folder that contains the default Profile 1 after fresh installation:

/Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/BraveSoftware/Brave-Browser/Default

How to compress a file or folder on the Mac

Select the file or folder. Next, in the Finder > File menu . . . select the Compress . . . function for that item. The function in the menu might say “Compress ‘BraveSoftware’”

A .zip compressed version of the “BraveSoftware” folder will eventually be produced, in the same directory as the original item. You might rename new .zip compressed item (using a date stamp):

“20220214_Monday_BraveSoftware_bkup.zip”

About Compress:

https://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/mac_os_x_controlling_compressed_files

Brave Browser Crash Reports (on a Mac)

Brave Browser will produce Crash Reports without you being required to adjust a setting. How to find Crash Reports; and, how to read them:

Frequent Crashing, MacOS Monterey, M1 - #37 by 289wk

In addition, you may want to automatically send Crash Reports to Brave Support:

brave://settings/privacy/?search=Automatically+send+diagnostic+reports

If you enable that switch, Crash Reports should also show in a Brave Browser > Settings . . . window at:

brave://crashes

Make note of the Crash Report ID numbers, because Brave Support will want those, when you report a problem.

Mac OS users: BBEdit (text editor)

https://www.barebones.com/products/bbedit/”

Try the free download.

Official parameters of ChromeOptions and ChromePrefs

https://programmersought.com/article/70288998872/

How to use command line flags in Brave

https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044860011-How-Do-I-Use-Command-Line-Flags-in-Brave

List of Brave URLS – including Brave Internals

brave://chrome-urls/

Examples

brave://media-internals
brave://net-internals
brave://net-internals/#dns
brave://password-manager-internals
brave://sync-internals
brave://tor-internals

brave://bookmarks
brave://crashes
brave://downloads
brave://extensions
brave://flags
brave://settings
brave://version
brave://wallet

List of CHROME URLS – lengthy, with descriptions:

https://beebom.com/chrome-urls/

Brave Release Notes

Need the following information - #2 by 289wk

Brave Browser Settings Tip

I do not know the technical reasons why . . . but I have found:

In order to adjust Brave Browser > Settings . . . and have them stick – better / more reliably – for whichever is your favored, routine, ordinary window when running Brave Browser:

  • New Window
  • New Private Window
  • New Private Window with TOR

then have ONLY a new window of your favored, particular window Open, prior to adjusting Settings. And use in the URL address: “about:blank” (no quotes). Then give the command to get the Brave Browser > Settings window to open.

And sometimes, you may find, that you also had to fall back to, first having ONLY a New Window open, prior to adjusting Settings. This fallback step, because you noticed that the Settings that you adjusted, did not stick for, let us say, the New Private Window as your favored window . . . so you fall back to having ONLY the New Window open, and then adjust Settings.

Thank you for the detailed response, and the inclusion of many useful resources!

Responses are in-line again.

Extensions
May interest, re “external_extensions.json” file:

Like the idea, looking at implementing this.

At Brave Browser Startup
[load a specific set of pages instead of starting where you left off]

Good advice. Not my favorite change, but I have implemented it as I see the benefit. Just have to change my behavior of bookmarking items instead of leaving the tabs open to read later.

PS. MetaMask has been a problem, but one person found a fix:

Done.

Backups

BraveSoftware folder backup

Some notes on this below.

Diagnostic Tools:
Win10 Event Viewer | Brave Browser Task Manager | Reading DMP Files

Quite familiar with most of these. I prefer NotePad++ to EditPad but that is just a personal preference.

So here’s where we get to the crux of the issue IMO.

Sometimes, Brave Browser does a “soft reset” thing – seems like it, and some settings and things are forgotten / “lost!”

  • bookmarks
  • cookies
  • extensions
  • passwords
  • sync (memory?)
  • tabs
  • windows

Let’s ask the difficult but pertinent question:

WHY?

While I get that backup of the browser is a good practice, I’m not aware of any other browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or Opera) that requires this level of user management of the application or application settings.

Note: I have a Google Chrome installation alongside Brave Browser on this machine. I’ve been using the same machine for nearly (5) years now and not once have I had any issue with any of the (4) different profiles managed by Google Chrome. Each profile has maintained its own unique extensions, bookmarks, history, passwords, etc. without a spot of trouble. Brave Browser ran into a significant issue after ~5-6months.

Perhaps Brave Browser isn’t really comparable to these other options. Maybe I’m expecting too much of a “indie” project, but randomly loosing user settings through a “soft reset thing” seems like a major miss in terms of user experience.

My job is to design/build/test industrial controls equipment, and the UI/UX element is a major component of my responsibilities. Let’s be frank about it: if I put out a piece of equipment/software with this type of bug, and let it go for this long, I would lose my employment.

Beyond that, if I can get 80-90% of the functionality of the Brave Browser by using Google Chrome with any number of privacy extensions and not run this kind of risk, then is that last 10-20% functionality really worth it? That’s the question I’m left asking myself after experiencing this issue.

It seems that this is a well reported (although poorly documented) problem. If the problem cannot be solved easily, it makes far more sense to me for Brave Browser to provide the option to backup itself on a regular basis. It seems that is the intent behind the SYNC feature. When I checked the current settings for that feature, the only item that was checked was bookmarks. I went ahead and changed it to include all options and verified my backup of the SYNC seed. So maybe this all boils down to a miss on my part, and I’m willing to accept accountability for that oversight.

Lastly, none of this frustration is directed at you @289wk, but rather at the individual on the Brave Browser team that may eventually read this rant in the next 6-18mo.

@itzsnitz ,

Yes: “change my behavior of bookmarking items instead of leaving the tabs open to read later” . . . you improvise and work around, and keep going.

There are efforts to provision certain backups; two examples:

I have added more tools, above - to my earlier, lengthy reply 4.

Next, a portion of a lone bird’s eye view at Brave developments, at GitHub.

The reason for my posting the following, is to reveal a portion of the complex territory that the relatively small numbers of Brave developers attempt to cover.

There, at GitHub, is a written flow chart system, but not technical drawings, of the Brave Browser schematics. Such that, the “Big Picture” is in the minds of the Brave developers and supporters who dare to understand and work along the workflows. But, the discoveries of some problems – that would be found by following the tracings of technical drawings – are sometimes missed.

The GitHub programmers collaboration method, relies upon decision trees that are sometimes neglected or forgotten, yet the decisions effectively set policies (“What are we going to do about that / this?” “What is the ‘expected behavior?’” “What is the expected result?’”) that vary in size and effect.

Those often little decision tree junctions appear in writing, but not on a big drawing where the effective policy would be found . . . to affect other flows.

During Brave Browser development, the old “Muon” engine was replaced by the Chromium engine. And that required some slap and dash. Sometimes a patch solved a User Interface issue, but that required a Disable Something for Now.

That “for Now” became prolonged and then left behind, until a problem – noticed by users often painfully attempting to Report a Bug at Brave Community – gets attention (if the users are fortunate to get that attention).

Somebody in development remembers something that leads to the next remembrance of a policy decision along some path of the GitHub way. And that recollection renews, for example, “What are we going to do about that / this?”

And then, an “Oops, we shut down a function at point X, when we figured that we needed to shut down a dialog window . . . and we never got back to fixing the function.” Plus a “BTW, we never settled on what the dialog wording will be.”

The GitHub way, is a supposedly organized, upstream / downstream dynamic for programming collaborators, but a some of the decisions affect other streams.

Brave Projects

Chromium Rebasing:

“Tracking tasks and work related to upgrading Chromium and maintaining / improving our integration with Chromium”

https://github.com/orgs/brave/projects/20

That Chromium Rebasing is one of 9 Brave Projects at the GitHub residence of Brave Software:

https://github.com/brave

Sync - all Platforms, is also one of those 9 Brave Projects:

https://github.com/orgs/brave/projects/1

Brave-Browser Projects

Currently, there are 23:

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/projects

The Front End

“Front End UI/UE, Url Bar/Search, New Tab page, welcome experience, branding, polish, support/docs.”

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/projects/13

General

“Ongoing: Stability, Installation, Extensions, performance, other”

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/projects/9

Settings

“Settings (front-end/backend)”

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/projects/18

Shields

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/projects/10

Brave Wallet Developer Information at GitHub:

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/wiki/Brave-Wallet-developer-information

Brave Browser > Brave Wallet wiki – at GitHub

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/wiki/Brave-Wallet

Brave Wallet Project - at GitHub

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/projects/24

Brave Browser is, from my perspective, both in development and a prototype; and not a “Set and Forget” Internet browser - nor ready to be a Default Browser.

But even so, the competing Internet vehicles have numerous options / preferences / settings. In my view, all require study whenever performance and security are issues.

In a world of many insidious efforts working thru and around the Internet, and attempting to gather personal information, there is no chance for a comfort zone without the user learning how to manage, and developing a system for maintaining that: their management.

The more that each user learns, and troubleshoots, the more time that Brave has to focus on fixing things.

The Brave business salient to Ads / BAT / Creators / Payments / Rewards / Wallets . . . eats up a lot of the total pie chart of time available.

The battles between Fixing vs Convenience, also show in that pie chart.

The Release Notes for Brave Browser iOS, version 1.35.1, have never been revealed . . . and 1.36.x is due any day now.

Thank you for expending an incredible amount of effort to help align my thinking on this project.

When I first installed Brave Browser, it was just an experiment, and I never really intended it to become by daily driver. The BAT rewards were neat, but ultimately I was more interested in the focus on privacy, along with the IPFS and Tor integrations.

But then I fell in love, and in retrospect, much of my vehement disappointment stems from that rather startling realization that, while very polished, it’s still an indie project that is bound to have some stumbling blocks.

Over the next few days I will continue to digest all of the amazing resources and references you have put together. Thank you again for your persistent effort.

Best wishes to you, and hope you are able to stay safe.

@itzsnitz ,

Thank you for tolerating my dumping a bunch of tool boxes, here (that I might update on occasion - in order to fix errors on my part). I needed a place, for reference – for others to use the tools and also see some of the workings at GitHub, about which several have wondered.

If my updating such tool boxes at your place, here, is a problem, please let me know, and I will leave the stuff as is.

You write well, and obviously are a thought-ful engineer. You might not immediately want a job at Brave, but the following path might provide names / info that would get you in contact, to discuss what you might do.

Thank you again. Re Safe, you as well. (My location and where I will be going: Safe, has become more problematic.)

Brave openings:

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